The Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University for Development Studies, Professor Seidu Al-hassan has challenged farmers particularly from the three regions of the North to take advantage of opportunities that seek to enhance their capacity. He indicated that doing so will not only improve their livelihood, but will also enable them contribute immensely to national development.
Addressing various Farmer-Based Cooperatives/ Organizations (FBCs/FBOs) at the National Launch of the Capacity Development Programme on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the Modern City Hotel in Tamale, Professor Al-hassan said capacity building programmes represent a form of capital which must not be taken for granted. He advised the farmers not to be over dependent on donor support programmes, but rather strive to become independent of such support, which will in the long run, enable them advance food security in Ghana.
The Capacity Development Project, which is implemented by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the Department of Cooperatives (DOC) aims to enhance the capacity of Farmer-Based Cooperatives (FBC’s) in Northern Ghana through training, consultancy, networking opportunities and financial support.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Honourable Ignatius Baffour-Awuah who delivered the keynote address recounted the significant roles cooperatives played in the past towards the enhancement of cash crops, particularly cocoa in Ghana. He added that the patronage of such crops has dwindled over the years largely due to the inactiveness of cooperatives, thus any initiative that seeks to strengthen the influence of cooperatives is one that should be given maximum support. He expressed optimism that the passing of the Cooperatives Bill would further ensure a stronger regulation of the cooperatives system.
The Korean Ambassador to Ghana Sung Soo Kim who was also at the event mentioned that according to the 2014 Ghana Living Standards Survey, the three regions of the North are the most impoverished amongst the ten regions in Ghana. He expressed optimism that the Capacity Development Project, which seeks to strengthen FBC’s in Northern Ghana, has the ability to improve the livelihood of the people, considering the significant role cooperative mobilization played in the Korean development trajectory. He therefore called on all stakeholders to support the project to ensure its sustainability.
Equally present at the ceremony were the Vice President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) SungHo Choi, the Country Director of KOICA Yukyum Kim, the Northern Regional Minister Honourable Salifu Saeed, the Upper East Regional Minister Honourable Rockson Ayine Bukari, MCEs, DCEs and cooperatives from the beneficiary Regions.
The project will be implemented in the Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West Regions and expanded to the rest of the country by the year 2020.